Snoop Dogg
Mark A. Whitaker

At this point in his lengthy career, Snoop Dogg-among the pioneers of West Coast rap-has become nothing short of an icon in the worldwide hip-hop community, not to mention a household name and rags-to-riches success story. And somehow, between continuing to push limits creatively, stay on top of the game, and orchestrate his own hit show on E!, Father Hood, Snoop remarkably still finds time to tour. Which is exactly what he did the night before New Year’s Eve, down south at the Majestic Ventura Theater.

Good hip-hop shows are something to be experienced. With no expense salvaged, a live hip-hop concert is sure to draw an eclectic crowd of dedicated followers. These showcases feature any number of deejay appearances, backdrops with larger-than-life depictions of the headlining artist, and members of the artist’s personal posse often show up onstage, waving memorabilia available for purchase to the audience below. Unlike most rock and alt-rock shows where not many fans come out for the opening acts, the Ventura Theater was impressively filled (at what appeared to be about 80 percent capacity) before 10 p.m., giving the opening artists plenty of support.

Snoop Dogg headlined a raucous night of West Coast hip-hop last Tuesday at the Majestic Ventura Theater.
Mark A. Whitaker

Warren G, most popularly known for his 1994 hit “Regulate,” was received with a little too much enthusiasm on Tuesday, having to skip through two songs when fans began flinging ice onto the stage during his performance. In fact, G almost walked off entirely before deciding that other, less disorderly concertgoers deserved to see the rest of his short, 28-minute-long set.

After G left the stage, something rare happened at the Majestic: the stage curtains were pulled completely shut, and stayed that way until the house lights fell and it was time for Snoop to appear. When the velvet sea eventually parted, an entire band setup was revealed. It is quite custom for a deejay or two to be brought onstage during a hip-hop show, but an entire band (bass, guitar, drum kit, and turntables) is a rare sight to behold. The stage show also included three trim, young, scantily dressed backup dancers and lasted an entire hour. Additionally, Snoop was careful to start and end on familiar notes and play all the most modern hits in between. An all-ages audience was on hand to take in the show, and the theater’s security was merciless in removing anyone who may have partied a little too hard inside its historic walls. And by the end of it all it seemed clear that everyone who paid and behaved had an excellent night they likely won’t forget.


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